Alabama Construction Trades
Choose a career. Then build one.
In the growing field of commercial construction, the possibilities are endless. Trades. Specialties. Specialty trades. But let's face it—too many choices is one heck of a problem to have. So dig in. Explore. And discover the trade that's the best fit for you.
SOC CODES: 47-2152
Pipe systems are used to transport water, steam, gas, waste and other materials, and pipefitters and plumbers are responsible for keeping these systems in working order. Both install, maintain and repair pipe systems according to specifications and codes, but many tradesmen choose to specialize in either pipefitting or plumbing. Pipefitters work with the high-pressure and low-pressure pipe systems used in manufacturing, the generation of electricity, and the heating and cooling of buildings, while plumbers install and repair water, waste disposal, drainage and gas systems in buildings of all sizes.
SOC CODE: 47-2111
Electricians install and maintain the electrical systems and wiring that power the nation’s businesses, factories and homes. These tradesmen use blueprints to determine the locations of circuits, outlets, load centers and panel boards and adhere to local, state and national building codes. When installing, electricians use hand tools such as screwdrivers, conduit benders, pliers and wire strippers. Later, they use ohmmeters, ammeters, voltmeters and other equipment to test connections and ensure that components are compatible and safe.
SOC CODE: 47-2021,
BRICK & BLOCKMASON
Masons bind building materials, such as brick, concrete block, cinder block, structural tile and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls, floors, fireplaces and other structures.
These masons work with concrete, one of the most durable materials used in construction, to place and finish concrete walls, foundations, beams, columns and panels.
SOC CODES: 47-2031,
A carpenter works with wood and other materials to construct and maintain buildings and other structures. Carpenters also may erect scaffolding, build tunnel bracing, construct wooden forms for pouring concrete, or build concrete forms for tunnels, bridges or other projects.
A millwright installs, assembles and dismantles machinery used by construction sites, factories and power plants. These tradesmen consult instruction manuals and use tools such as levels, hydraulic torque wrenches, micrometers and welding machines to get each machine up and running.
SOC CODE: 47-4000
ROAD BUILDER / EQUIPMENT OPERATOR
Road builders and construction equipment operators are responsible for operating the machinery that is used to move heavy materials at construction sites, clear and grade land, build and maintain roads and bridges, dig trenches, spread asphalt, or construct offshore oil rigs. Because road building and the operation of construction equipment is more technologically advanced than in the past, the contractors of today must also be skilled enough to set up and inspect the equipment, make adjustments and perform some maintenance and minor repairs. The equipment they operate may include bulldozers, trench excavators, road graders, cranes, rollers, forklifts, air compressors, milling machines and asphalt spreaders.
SOC CODES: 47-2211,
SHEET METAL WORKER
Sheet metal workers fabricate, install and maintain heating and air-conditioning systems, do architectural sheet metal work, construct appliances, heaters and boilers, and perform a variety of other jobs involving sheet metal.
HVAC technicians are trained to install, maintain and repair heating and air-conditioning systems, which control the temperature, humidity and air quality in most buildings. Some workers specialize in a single area, such as heating, air-conditioning or refrigeration.
SOC CODES: 47-2011
The name “boilermaker” originates from the craft of making, installing and repairing boilers, but that’s not all that these tradesmen do. Boilermakers produce steel fabrications from plates and sections, which means they may also install and repair closed vats and other large vessels that hold and process oil, chemicals, beer and hundreds of other products. In addition, boilermakers may work to install, repair and maintain air pollution equipment, blast furnaces, water treatment plants, smoke stacks, storage and process tanks, fireboxes or hydroelectric power generation turbines.
SOC CODE: 51-4121
Welding, the process of fastening two pieces of metal together by softening with heat and applying pressure, is a versatile trade that equips welders to work in a variety of industries. Several other construction trades, such as pipefitters, boilermakers and sheet metal workers, incorporate welding skills. Welding is also used to join beams during the construction of buildings, bridges and other structures. These tradesmen often work from blueprints, using their knowledge and training to determine the best way to join the parts.
SOC CODES: 47-2141
Painters apply paint, stain, varnish and other finishes to equipment, buildings, bridges and other structures using rollers, brushes and spray guns. To ensure the paint or finish adheres properly, painters often begin a project by removing the old coat of paint. They then prepare the surface by filling cracks, sanding rough spots and washing it to remove dirt and grime. When painting new surfaces, painters apply a primer or sealer to prepare the surface for the top coat. Painters are also responsible for mixing and matching colors and selecting the best, most durable paint for the project.
SOC CODES: 47-2131,
Insulation workers install the materials used to control and maintain the temperature of buildings and mechanical equipment. Some types of insulation are fastened with adhesive, staples or tape, while others, particularly in attics or exterior walls, are blown in using a machine.
Asbestos abatement workers remove asbestos, a cancer-causing material once used frequently in construction, from old buildings before they are renovated or demolished. Using tools such as vacuums and scrapers, these workers carefully remove the asbestos.